Finding the Philley Brooke will reconnect residents with the lost ‘Philley Brooke’ watercourse and provide a new community space and raingarden. Shaped by residents, this project will build on local initiatives in Waltham Forest.  

Re-connect to the Philley Brooke: a raingarden will re-energise and define both this lost connection with the river, and provide a dynamic identity, which changes when activated by rain. Planting with movement will reinforce this activation. Playful interaction with the space is encouraged, responding to families who access local nurseries and use this road to enter Leytonstone tube station.

Cultivation corner: the design creates space for building on local initiatives/groups, e.g Transition Leytonstone. Many surrounding houses are multiple occupancy, with different needs. Using existing local knowledge and skills will help with opportunities, e.g. food produce, gardening groups, or link to social prescribing services for health and wellbeing, ultimately bringing people together with a shared experience and space.

Identify and place: Finding the Philley Brooke will create a recognisable community space, with a distinctive planting palate suitable for rainwater gardens. The local character of the area will be enhanced by de-paving and increasing greenspace; the street scene will be improved in this highly prominent location. Pro-pollinator planting will be included and used to communicate the importance of connections between people and nature, linking to the story of the Philley Brooke.


Groundwork has 20 years’ experience delivering bespoke community-led London projects, and has won multiple awards for our SuDS work. We specialise in resident-led design, employ community gardeners and horticulturalists, and have fundraised millions of pounds in match funding for our clients.